|Publication number||US7353436 B2|
|Application number||US 10/897,281|
|Publication date||Apr 1, 2008|
|Filing date||Jul 21, 2004|
|Priority date||Jul 21, 2004|
|Also published as||US20060020433, US20080043779|
|Publication number||10897281, 897281, US 7353436 B2, US 7353436B2, US-B2-7353436, US7353436 B2, US7353436B2|
|Inventors||Ali Taha, John Eldon|
|Original Assignee||Pulse-Link, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Non-Patent Citations (14), Referenced by (8), Classifications (12), Legal Events (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention generally relates to communications. More particularly, the invention concerns systems and methods to derive and employ unique synchronization codes.
The Information Age is upon us. Access to vast quantities of information through a variety of different communication systems is changing the way people work, entertain themselves, and communicate with each other.
For example, because of the 1996 Telecommunications Reform Act, traditional cable television program providers have now evolved into full-service providers of advanced video, voice and data services for homes and businesses. A number of competing cable companies now offer cable systems that deliver all of the just-described services via a single broadband network.
These services have increased the need for bandwidth, which is the amount of data transmitted or received per unit time. More bandwidth has become increasingly important, as the size of data transmissions has continually grown. Applications such as in-home movies-on-demand and video teleconferencing demand high data transmission rates. Another example is interactive video in homes and offices.
Other industries are also placing bandwidth demands on Internet service providers, and other data providers. For example, hospitals transmit images of X-rays and CAT scans to remotely located physicians. Such transmissions require significant bandwidth to transmit the large data files in a reasonable amount of time. These large data files, as well as the large data files that provide real-time home video are simply too large to be feasibly transmitted without an increase in system bandwidth. The need for more bandwidth is evidenced by user complaints of slow Internet access and dropped data links that are symptomatic of network overload.
In addition, the wireless device industry has recently seen unprecedented growth. With the growth of this industry, communication between different wireless devices, and the bandwidth of these devices, has become increasingly important. Conventional radio frequency (RF) technology has been the predominant technology for wireless device communication for decades.
Conventional RF technology employs continuous carrier sine waves that are transmitted with data embedded in the modulation of the sine waves' amplitude or frequency. For example, a conventional cellular phone must operate at a particular frequency band of a particular width in the total frequency spectrum. Specifically, in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has allocated cellular phone communications in the 800 to 900 MHz band. Generally, cellular phone operators divide the allocated band into 25 MHz portions, with selected portions transmitting cellular phone signals, and other portions receiving cellular phone signals.
Another type of inter-device communication technology is ultra-wideband (UWB). UWB wireless technology employs discrete pulses of electromagnetic energy and is fundamentally different from conventional carrier wave RF technology. UWB employs a “carrier free” architecture, which does not require the use of high frequency carrier generation hardware, carrier modulation hardware, frequency and phase discrimination hardware or other devices employed in conventional frequency domain communication systems.
One feature of UWB is that a UWB signal, or pulse, may occupy a very large amount of RF spectrum, for example, generally in the order of gigahertz of frequency band. Large amounts of data can be transmitted using UWB technology.
Developers of UWB communication devices have proposed different architectures, or communication methods for ultra-wideband devices. In one approach, the available RF spectrum is partitioned into discrete frequency bands. A UWB device may then transmit signals within one or more of these discrete sub-bands. Alternatively, a UWB communication device may occupy all, or substantially all, of the RF spectrum allocated for UWB communications. Regardless of what type of UWB architecture is employed, consumers will expect these devices to have a high bandwidth capability.
Therefore, there exists a need for methods to increase the bandwidth of wire and wireless networks.
The present invention provides a system, method and computer program product for deriving and employing unique synchronization codes. In one embodiment of the present invention, the derivation of numerical sequences, or codes, is based on an encoding algorithm. In this embodiment, a convolutional coding rate is selected, and valid, as well as invalid, codes are generated. The invalid codes are then subjected to further analysis, and then employed as synchronization codes.
Synchronization generally comprises transmitting a bit or bits that are used by a receiver to synchronize it with a transmitter. The synchronization codes of the present invention may be used for synchronization between communicating devices. Since the codes are invalid for data, a receiving device will not confuse them for data, thereby increasing the robustness, or Quality of Service of the communication. In addition, the codes may be used for channelization of communications between devices in an environment where there are numerous devices communicating.
These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be appreciated from review of the following detailed description of the invention, along with the accompanying figures in which like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout.
It will be recognized that some or all of the Figures are schematic representations for purposes of illustration and do not necessarily depict the actual relative sizes or locations of the elements shown. The Figures are provided for the purpose of illustrating one or more embodiments of the invention with the explicit understanding that they will not be used to limit the scope or the meaning of the claims.
In the following paragraphs, the present invention will be described in detail by way of example with reference to the attached drawings. While this invention is capable of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail specific embodiments, with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an example of the principles of the invention and not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments shown and described. That is, throughout this description, the embodiments and examples shown should be considered as exemplars, rather than as limitations on the present invention. As used herein, the “present invention” refers to any one of the embodiments of the invention described herein, and any equivalents. Furthermore, reference to various feature(s) of the “present invention” throughout this document does not mean that all claimed embodiments or methods must include the referenced feature(s).
The present invention provides a system and method for communication, wirelessly or through a wire medium, using either conventional carrier wave technology, or ultra-wideband technology. The present invention employs digital communication methods that may be applied to virtually any type of communication system and/or device.
One embodiment of the present invention provides a system, method and computer software product for deriving and employing unique synchronization codes. Briefly, the numerical sequences comprising the synchronization codes are derived from various encoding algorithms and may be used as synchronization codes to enable communication between different communication devices. They are additionally useful for “whitening” spectral lines caused by conventional “fixed” synchronization and channelization codes.
Synchronization (also known as frame synchronization, frame alignment, or framing) generally comprises transmitting a specific sequence of bits that is used by a receiver to synchronize it with the transmitter. For example, a “frame synchronization pattern,” generally comprising a recurring pattern of bits, is transmitted that enables the receiver to align its clock, or time reference with the transmitter's time reference. Usually the bit pattern is repeated, which helps ensure that the receiver will have an opportunity to “lock” in on at least one of the transmitted bit patterns. These bit patterns are not data. That is, data generally comprises voice, audio, video, Internet content and/or other types of information.
These synchronization sequences need to be recognizable by the receiver as a synchronization sequence and not be confused with data. For example, in an ultra-wideband (UWB) communication system employing a data modulation technique called pulse position modulation (PPM), each device generates and transmits a pulse of energy in a specific time bin. The location of the time bin (within a symbol slot) determines a bit value, which represents data. Without precise synchronization between the transmitter and the receiver, the receiver may be unable to reliably determine which time bin the pulse is located in, resulting in a high bit-error-rate, and low Quality of Service (QOS).
Additionally, some communication channels may be of poor quality and unable to support the QOS requirements of some data types (video has high QOS requirements, voice has low QOS requirements). In that environment, a number of bit error detection and correction schemes (i.e., algorithms) may be used to improve the QOS. Alternatively, different communication channels may be created by using codes to provide “channelization,” which is a method that allows a specific group(s) of users to communicate without interfering with non-intended group(s) of users
There are many different types of channelization and error detection/correction algorithms. Broadly, all of these methods are achieved by “encoding” data. Data is encoded by converting it with a code, usually one consisting of binary numbers (i.e., bits), in such a manner that reconversion to the original data is possible. Usually, encoding (or coding) is accomplished by adding additional bits to each group of bits that are to be transmitted (each group of bits may be referred to as a code block, or code). These additional bits are generated by using an encoding algorithm. There are many types of encoding algorithms, for example, memory-based codes (including, among others convolutional codes), memory-less codes (4B/5B, 2B/6B, 10B/8B and 64B/66B, among others). The present invention may use any type of encoding algorithm known today, or yet to be developed.
One embodiment of the present invention derives a set of synchronization codes directly from an encoding algorithm. In this embodiment, one type of encoding algorithm is selected and both valid and invalid codes are generated. “Valid” codes are groups of binary digits (bits) that represent data, whereas, “invalid” codes are bits that do not represent data (also known as “redundant codes,” explained in detail below). The invalid codes are subjected to further processing, and then used as synchronization codes. Because these codes are invalid for data, a receiving device will not confuse them for data, thereby increasing the QOS of the communication. In addition, the codes may be used for communication channelization between devices in an environment where there are numerous devices communicating. Additionally, these codes may be used to “whiten” the spectrum created by the use of fixed synchronization codes. Thus a communication system utilizing the numerical codes of the present invention has the advantage of supporting an increased number of devices and additionally “whitening” the spectrum.
As discussed above, the present invention may be employed by conventional carrier wave communication systems, as well as by ultra-wideband (UWB) communication systems. The features of the present invention may be particularly useful in UWB communications. This is because UWB communications employs discrete pulses of electromagnetic energy to transmit data. Each of these discrete pulses may have a duration of nanoseconds or picoseconds. A receiver must synchronize itself by using the received pulses, which is much more difficult than synchronizing to a continuous carrier wave (as is the case in conventional carrier wave communications). Therefore, by using the methods of the present invention, the receiver will be able to more easily distinguish between data bits and synchronization bits.
Alternate embodiments of UWB may be achieved by mixing baseband pulses (i.e., information-carrying pulses), with a carrier wave that controls a center frequency of a resulting signal. The resulting signal is then transmitted using discrete pulses of electromagnetic energy, as opposed to transmitting a substantially continuous sinusoidal signal.
An example of a conventional carrier wave communication technology is illustrated in
In contrast, an ultra-wideband (UWB) pulse may have a 2.0 GHz center frequency, with a frequency spread of approximately 4 GHz, as shown in
Also, because the UWB pulses are spread across an extremely wide frequency range, the power sampled in, for example, a one megahertz bandwidth, is very low. For example, UWB pulses of one nano-second duration and one milliwatt average power (0 dBm) spreads the power over the entire one gigahertz frequency band occupied by the pulse. The resulting power density is thus 1 milliwatt divided by the 1,000 MHz pulse bandwidth, or 0.001 milliwatt per megahertz (−30 dBm/MHz).
Generally, in the case of wireless communications, a multiplicity of UWB pulses may be transmitted at relatively low power density (milliwatts per megahertz). However, an alternative UWB communication system may transmit at a higher power density. For example, UWB pulses may be transmitted between 30 dBm to −50 dBm.
UWB pulses, however, transmitted through many wire media will not interfere with wireless radio frequency transmissions. Therefore, the power (sampled at a single frequency) of UWB pulses transmitted though wire media may range from about +30 dBm to about −140 dBm.
The present invention may be employed in any type of network, be it wireless, wire, or a mix of wire media and wireless components. That is, a network may use both wire media, such as coaxial cable, and wireless devices, such as satellites, or cellular antennas. As defined herein, a network is a group of points or nodes connected by communication paths. The communication paths may use wires or they may be wireless. A network as defined herein can interconnect with other networks and contain sub-networks. A network as defined herein can be characterized in terms of a spatial distance, for example, such as a local area network (LAN), a personal area network (PAN), a metropolitan area network (MAN), a wide area network (WAN), and a wireless personal area network (WPAN), among others. A network as defined herein can also be characterized by the type of data transmission technology used by the network, such as, for example, a Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) network, a Systems Network Architecture network, among others. A network as defined herein can also be characterized by whether it carries voice, data, or both kinds of signals. A network as defined herein may also be characterized by users of the network, such as, for example, users of a public switched telephone network (PSTN) or other type of public network, and private networks (such as within a single room or home), among others. A network as defined herein can also be characterized by the usual nature of its connections, for example, a dial-up network, a switched network, a dedicated network, and a non-switched network, among others. A network as defined herein can also be characterized by the types of physical links that it employs, for example, optical fiber, coaxial cable, a mix of both, unshielded twisted pair, and shielded twisted pair, among others.
The present invention may be employed in any type of wireless network, such as a wireless PAN, LAN, MAN, or WAN. In addition, the present invention may be employed in wire media, such as coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, twisted-pair media, and any other types of wire media.
As discussed above, the present invention generates and employs unique synchronization codes that improve QOS and can also support a multi-user communication environment by being employed as channelization codes (i.e., codes that allow specific groups of users to communicate, without interfering with non-intended groups of users).
As also discussed above, synchronization sequences, or codes, comprised of groups of bits, need to be recognizable by the receiver as such, and not be confused with data. In addition, some communications channels may be of poor quality and unable to support the Quality of Service (QOS) requirements of some data types. To address these, and other issues, a number of encoding algorithms (as discussed above) may be used to improve the QOS, and provide robust synchronization codes.
One type of encoding algorithm that may be employed by the present invention are known as memory-less coding. One such algorithm is commonly referred to as linear block coding. In block codes, a block of k data bits is encoded by a codeword of n digits where n>k. For every sequence of k data bits, there is a distinct code word of n digits. One feature of block coding is that it directly converts every block of k data bits into a code word of n digits regardless of what data was previously processed. For example, one such block coding algorithm is known as 4B-5B coding. In 4B-5B coding, every 4 bits is replaced by 5 bits. In this example there are 25−24=16 invalid codes, or redundant codes that do not represent data. Coding efficiency of this algorithm is therefore
Other coding methods of this type, such as 2B-6B, will result in different numbers of invalid codes, but in general, if there are k input bits encoded into n output bits there will be 2n−2k codes that are invalid and do not represent data.
Encoded Data Bits
For example, TABLE 1 illustrates a hypothetical coding algorithm that encodes four data bits (22), using a 23 encoder. In this example, 23−22=4 groups of numbers (011, 101, 110 and 111) are invalid, or redundant codes that do not represent data.
Another type of encoding algorithm that may be employed by the present invention is memory-based, such as convolutional encoding, which in some versions uses a byte format (1 byte=8 bits, where a bit is either a 1 or a 0). Convolutional encoding is a memory-dependent encoding algorithm. That is, the present state of the encoder is dependent on data that has previously been processed. Additionally, the output of the encoder depends on the present state of the encoder and the data input to the encoder. Systems that use convolutional encoding may also employ a Viterbi decoder in the receiver to decode the data, and to detect and correct errors. In this case, each set of 8 bits (one byte) when convolutionally encoded by a
rate encoder becomes a set of 16 bits (one word). Since there are 256 possible combinations of 8 bits (28=256) and 65,536 combinations of 16 bits (216=65,536), there are a total of 65,536−256=65,280 combinations that if transmitted or received would not represent a valid data byte without considering the state of the encoder. For a 3 state encoder the number of valid data byte combinations is increased by a factor of 23. In this encoder there would be 216−28*23=63,348 invalid codes. In general, if there are k input bits, a coding rate of
and m states in the encoder, there will be 2n−2m+k codes (where n=k*l) that are invalid codes. It will be appreciated that there are other coding rates, beyond
rate coding, that may be used by the present invention.
These invalid numerical codes, which may be produced by any type of encoding algorithm, provide candidates for synchronization sequences, or codes, since they should never represent valid data. Once the receiver detects the presence of one of these codes it can then reset its timing reference, and the receiver and transmitter will be synchronized.
However, some invalid codes may be better than other invalid codes for synchronization sequences. There are several characteristics of an invalid code that make it better than others.
One characteristic of importance is how similar a valid data code is to the invalid code. This can be calculated by the number of bits that are dissimilar between the invalid code and all the valid data codes. This characteristic is generally referred to as a “Hamming distance.” Put simply, the Hamming distance counts number of bits that disagree between two bit sequences. In TABLE 1 above, the Hamming distance between valid code 000 and invalid code 111 would be 3, as none of the three bits in each code are the same. A high Hamming distance indicates a low probability of corruption of the decoded data.
Another characteristic that makes an invalid code better than others for synchronization codes is the shape of the autocorrelation function of the code. Autocorrelation is a measure of the similarity between delayed and undelayed versions of the same signal, or code. Mathematically, autocorrelation is defined as follows:
The formula describes a process in which the code g(t) is multiplied by a time shifted copy of the code g(t−τ). The product of these two copies of the code will integrate to a lower value when the time shift is such that there is little bit-by-bit correspondence between the two copies. As the time shift goes to zero, the two functions approach a perfect bit correspondence condition and the integral becomes a maximum value. As the shifted copy passes the original copy there is again little correspondence between codes and the product decreases. Since the receiver is looking for a specific code to synchronize, a code with a good autocorrelation will have low values when shifted and an extremely high value when perfectly overlapped. This high value allows the receiver to determine the timing reference of the transmitter with a high degree of precision.
Yet another characteristic that makes some invalid codes better than others, is that in some cases synchronization codes that have a balanced number of ones and zeros are desirable. For example, a receiver demodulating data using OOK (on-off keying, a data modulation method) may encounter difficulties with codes that have a predominance of 0's. This is because in OOK modulation, the data bit “0” is represented by the absence of a pulse (i.e., the absence of energy). In this case, a better synchronization code for this type of modulation may have a balanced number of 1's and 0's.
Referring now to
rate encoding, because for every data bit that is input, two data bits a0 and a1 are produced.
rate encoder. In encoder 40, 4 data bits a0 through a3 are produced for every input data bit. Using a
rate encoder 40 allows for a larger set of invalid codes as compared to the
encoder, but suffers from significantly increased communication overhead.
Referring now to
A frame 100 usually consists of a representation of the original data to be transmitted (generally comprising a specified number of bits), together with other bits that may be used for error detection or control. Additional bits may be used for routing (possibly in the form of an address field), synchronization, overhead information not directly associated with the original data, and a frame check sequence (also known as a cyclic redundancy check). The preamble and synchronization section 70 may include routing information, such as a source address, a destination address, and other information.
As shown in
This repetition will additionally create spectral lines at the integer harmonics of 5 kilohertz.
However, if different synchronization sequences are employed, the same pattern will not occur with the 200 microsecond periodicity and the spectral lines will be reduced and the spectrum whitened.
As discussed above, the Hamming Distance is a representation of how different two codes are. In step 140 the Hamming Distance is calculated by comparing each of the subset of invalid codes to each of the valid codes. The Hamming Distance is the number of bits that are different in the two compared codes. This is an indication of how robust the code is to misinterpretation in the case of bit error. In step 150 a threshold is applied to each calculation of Hamming Distance. The threshold may be the maximum Hamming Distance, or it may be less than the maximum Hamming Distance. If the code under consideration has a Hamming distance from each valid data code that exceeds the threshold, it is added to the subset of good Hamming Distance codes in step 170. If the Hamming Distance between the code and any valid data code is below the threshold, the code is discarded in step 160. Steps 140, 150 and 160 and 170 are repeated as necessary until all of the subset of invalid codes produced by step 130 have been evaluated.
Autocorrelation, as described above, provides an indication of whether a time-shifted version of a code may be misinterpreted as the code itself. In step 180 the autocorrelation is calculated for all of the subset of good Hamming Distance codes. A “good” autocorrelation will have a peak value that is substantially higher than the highest non-peak value. By comparison of the peak value to the highest non-peak value codes with “good” autocorrelations may be selected. In step 190 the ratios of peak to non-peak values of the autocorrelations previously calculated in step 180 are compared to a threshold value. The threshold value may be chosen by collecting the largest non-peak value for each pattern, then choosing the smallest of these. Put differently, the threshold value may be the lowest value of the greatest non-peak value. However, other threshold values may be chosen. Ideally the highest non-peak value will be less than 10% of the peak value. If the peak to highest non-peak threshold is exceeded the code is added to the subset of “good” autocorrelation codes in step 210. If the threshold is not exceeded, the code is discarded in step 200. Steps 180, 190, 200, and 210 are repeated until all of the codes have been evaluated. Depending upon the threshold value, the subset of codes that are finally generated may be limited to a very few codes. In the event that more codes are desired the selected threshold value may be increased (i.e., the peak to non-peak ratio acceptance value may be decreased).
Referring now to
Referring now to
One feature of the embodiment illustrated in
However in the embodiment illustrated in
As shown in
Synchronization codes that have been generated using the methods illustrated in
Generally, a piconet is a group of two or more devices operating with a common media access controller (MAC), which are associated in some manner. For example, several ultra-wideband (UWB) communication devices, all with the same, or similar MACs may be located in a common geographical area. Two different groups may be communicating among themselves using these UWB devices. To avoid having one group's signals interfere with the second group's signals, different synchronization codes are used for each group, thus “channelizing” communication among the two groups.
As shown in
Thus, it is seen that a system, method and computer software product for generating and employing unique synchronization codes is provided. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the present invention can be practiced by other than the above-described embodiments, which are presented in this description for purposes of illustration and not of limitation. The description and examples set forth in this specification and associated drawings only set forth preferred embodiment(s) of the present invention. The specification and drawings are not intended to limit the exclusionary scope of this patent document. Many designs other than the above-described embodiments will fall within the literal and/or legal scope of the following claims, and the present invention is limited only by the claims that follow. It is noted that various equivalents for the particular embodiments discussed in this description may practice the invention as well.
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|U.S. Classification||714/701, 714/777|
|Cooperative Classification||H04L1/0041, H04B1/7183, H04B1/71632, H03M13/33, H04L1/0059|
|European Classification||H04B1/7163A, H03M13/33, H04L1/00B7C, H04L1/00B3|
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